The Ten Commandments of Presentations


And the Honeybourne spake all these words:

“I am the Honeybourne, who brought you out of the darkness of Powerpoint, out of the land of conformity.”

1. Thou shalt not simply trot out thy usual shtick.

2. Thou shalt dream a great dream, or show forth a wondrous new thing, or share something thou hast never shared before.

3. Thou shalt reveal thy curiosity and thy passion.

4. Thou shalt tell a story.

5. Thou shalt freely comment on the utterances of other speakers for the sake of blessed connection and exquisite controversy.

6. Thou shalt not flaunt thine ego. Be thou vulnerable; speak of thy failure as well as thy success.

7. Thou shalt not sell from the stage: neither thy company, thy goods, thy writings, not thy desperate need for funding; lest thou be cast aside into outer darkness.

8. Thou shalt remember all the while: Laughter is good.

9. Thou shalt not read thy speech.

10. Thou shalt not steal the time of them that follow thee.

When the business people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with excitement as their right brain was alive!

They stayed at a distance and their audiences said “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have bullet-points speak to us or we will die. Do not be afraid, Honeybourne will be with you to keep you from sinning and boring your audience with your usual style!”

(Adapted from!) Exodus 20 with a little help from TED

A version of this article originally appeared on the blog Creating Communication